National Guard Armory land purchase before City Council

NEW ULM — The City Council tonight will vote to authorize an agreement to acquire land for the new Minnesota National Guard Field Maintenance Shop and Armory.

The land is located west of the airport and south of Highway 14 and totals 31.24 acres. The agreement is to purchase the land at $36,000 per acre from Steve Somsen, Pennel Somsen and LaNay Locher for $1,124,640.

In addition to the purchase agreement, the council will review the storm water report for the proposed development. The report is from Bolton & Menk, Inc., and includes recommendations to manage the increase in storm water runoff. The storm water drainage from this parcel is currently collected and discharged by an agricultural drainage tile system routed through the Somsen Slough.

Bolton & Menk are recommending discharging the runoff from the developed site to the existing storm sewer system at the intersection of Highway 14 and North Highland Avenue.  This is the least expensive option and is estimated to cost $410,000. This plan will reduce the runoff draining into the existing Somsen Slough drainage system.

Amphitheater matching grant

The council is expected to approve a resolution to request $300,000 from the Minnesota Legislature to match local funding to upgrade the German Park outdoor performing arts amphitheater.

The amphitheater hosts public concerts and events. Recently the grass terraces have slumped, making them unusable for seating and inaccessible to the mobility-impaired. Replacement and upgrades would include concrete ramps, stairs and terrace edging; safety hand railings; horizontal terraces; water drainage management and other accessibility, safety and performance improvements.

The total cost for the project is estimated at $600,000. Locally, the city has received $311,000 in pledges.

The council authorized a similar request last year, but the request did not make the final bonding bill.

In other news:

• The results of the 2016 Special Archery Hunt Deer Control Program will be presented to the council. During 2016, the city conducted the 25th consecutive Special Archery Hunt. A total of 56 hunters harvested 68 deer in 2016. This is the second highest harvest since the program was first authorized in 1992.

The council will also vote whether to re-authorize the hunt for 2017.

• A public hearing will be held to consider a request from Green Mill & Best Western Plus, for a variance to allow live bands to perform in the parking lot during Bock Fest After-Party event on Saturday, March 4.